Samsung DROID CHARGE 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless)
- Ultra-fast 4G LTE connectivity via the Verizon Wireless 4G Mobile Broadband network
- 4G Mobile Hotspot capability allows you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot using your Verizon Wireless 4G LTE connection;4.3 inch AMOLED display
- Android 2.2 operating system
- Integrated Google mobile services
- What's in the Box: Droid Charge by Samsung handset, rechargeable battery, wall/USB charger, 32 GB microSD memory card, quick start guide.
- Ultra-fast 4G LTE connectivity via the Verizon Wireless 4G Mobile Broadband network
- 4G Mobile Hotspot capability allows you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot using your Verizon Wireless 4G LTE connection
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- Size (LWH): 5.11 inches, 2.66 inches, 0.46 inches
- Weight: 4.96 ounces
- Network Compatibility: CDMA
- Network Compatibility: GSM
- Minimum Rated Talk Time: 300 minutes
- Minimum Rated Standby Time: 280 hours
Grade B - Good condition, minor signs of use such as light scratches. Works perfect, clean ESN, phone & battery only - no charger.
The Droid1 Charge by Samsung delivers exactly what you'd expect from the collision of Droid power and Verizon 4G LTE network speeds. It runs a fast 1GHz Hummingbird processor and boasts a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus screen--it's the fastest and most powerful Droid ever created, and the first Droid built for Verizon's 4G LTE network. And the Android 2.2 OS allows you to experience the full Internet thanks to its support for Adobe Flash 10.2, enabling you to play games, watch videos, and more.
This powerful Droid features a 4.3" touchscreen. View larger
The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network provides speeds up to 10 times faster than Verizon Wireless' 3G network. With 4G LTE, you'll enjoy simultaneous voice and data capabilities, allowing you to check e-mail, browse the web, download an app, and check directions on Google Maps while on a call. Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network currently reaches one-third of all Americans, with plans to expand the network to the company's entire 3G coverage area over the next three years.
Featuring Mobile Hotspot capabilities for up to 10 devices. View larger
Other features include 2 GB internal memory, pre-loaded 32 GB microSD memory card, Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking with Mobile Hotspot capabilities for up to 10 devices, Bluetooth for hands-free devices and stereo music streaming, compatibility with Verizon services such as V-Cast and VZ Navigator, and AllShare with DLNA certification for wireless media streaming to other devices.
Android Operating System
The Droid Charge runs the Android operating system--OS 2.2 (aka, Froyo)--which provides a faster overall Android experience as well as greater multitasking capabilities. You'll be able to receive notifications, listen to music, and even record GPS data without keeping the application open. And it features a plethora of new enhancements, including an improved onscreen QWERTY keyboard, full push corporate e-mail, and support for Adobe Flash Player 10.2 for access to the full Web. It also offers enhanced Exchange support, with Calendar syncing, Global Address Lookup, improved security, auto-discovery, and more.
With integrated Google technology, the Droid Charge 4G brings one-touch access to the popular Google mobile services millions use every day, including Google Search by voice, Google Maps with Street View, GTalk instant messaging (with presence capabilities), YouTube, and Picasa. The Droid Charge also provides easy access to both personal and corporate e-mail, calendars, and contacts supported by Exchange Server and Gmail. And through Android Market, you'll get access to thousands of useful applications, widgets, and fun games to download and install on your phone, with many more apps being added every day.
The Droid Charge by Samsung weighs 5.04 ounces and measures 5.11 x 2.66 x .46 inches. It runs on Verizon's 4G LTE network as well as the CDMA 800/1900 frequencies.What's in the Box
Droid Charge by Samsung handset, rechargeable battery, wall/USB charger, 32 GB microSD memory card, quick start guide.
OS & Software
Communications & Internet
Design and Hardware
Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network
The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network allows you to download photos, apps, and games in seconds and entire movies in minutes. LTE (or Long Term Evolution provides significantly increased upload and download speeds over 3G networks, as well as significantly reduced latency (or lag time). Verizon Wireless expects 4G LTE average data rates to be 5-12 megabits per second (Mbps) on the downlink and 2-5 Mbps on the uplink in real-world, loaded network environments.
With these blazing fast speeds, you'll be able to stream HD movies without the annoyance of constant pauses to buffer the video stream--as well as quickly download HD-quality movies right to your phone in minutes. Additionally, you'll be able to download a new song file in about 4 seconds or upload a photo to your favorite social networking site in about 6 seconds.
The Verizon Wireless 4G LTE mobile broadband network will also redefine the mobile office for business users. Business applications that used to require wired networks will be untethered forever, allowing you maximized productivity and efficiency while you're out of the confines of your office. Enhanced security lets you tap into most VPN networks with less waiting, and faster responsiveness enables you to upload 10 MB presentations back to your team in less than 25 seconds.
1DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license.
Also Available for this Android Device
Amazon Appstore for Android
Top Customer Reviews
The first three things you notice are how big the phone is, how bright the screen is and how surprisingly light the phone is given its size. You should go to the Verizon store and check this phone out before you buy just to make sure you are comfortable with the size. The screen is as big as my Garmin screen! For me, it was a good thing. Web pages, email, maps, etc are generally easier to read.
Day 1-I bought this phone midday on the Monday following its release. There was a software update that installed even before leaving the Verizon store parking lot. No problems with the install. The phone felt a little buggy afterwards. So I did a restart which cured all problems. Coming from a Blackberry, there was a learning curve. So, I spent some time reviewing the included tutorial to learn the phone and get comfortable with the different features. I had to call Verizon tech support to figure out how to set up my POP3 email account. I have my own email server and couldn't find all the settings. Kudos to Verizon for being so helpful. I installed a compass & Sudoku apps from the Android Market (very cool) and paired the phone with my Plantronics Voyager Pro + headset. The volume on the headset was actually louder with this phone than with my old Blackberry. This was a welcome surprise. The HTC Thunderbolt has had problems with its bluetooth functionality. I'm happy to say the Samsung Droid Charge has caused no problems for me so far. I found the Contacts function to be missing one feature that my Blackberry had. I can't program the phone "Not" to ring when a particular person calls me (we all have one in our life). The silent ringer function exists in other places in the phone. It just didn't make it to the Contacts feature. Samsung, please fix this. Both the Samsung keyboards (regular & Swype) are far superior to that on my touch screen Blackberry!
Day 2-I'm happy to say that on my first full day of use, the phone made it through an entire day without charging (7 AM to 11:00 PM) with apx 40% battery life left when I went to bed! I used the phone normally - a little web browsing, phone calls, email, a few apps and 4G turned on and working all day!! I did turn off Wi-Fi and the GPS. Though, I turned the GPS back on while using the maps and a compass later in the day. I like the phone! I saw no noticeable problems or bugs with the phone. 4G is incredibly fast!! Sound quality is good too - both for me and for the person I'm calling.
Day 3-I spent a lot of time using the phone today. The included calculator is too basic - missing the memory buttons (M+,M-,MC,MR) which I need. My Blackberry calculator had them. While it's not a big deal given all the available apps in the app store, Samsung could have done a better job with a few of it's features and widgets. I spent the day doing everything I normally do (see Day 2). In addition, I downloaded 4 different calculators, uninstalled those I didn't like and installed Angry Birds! I now understand why people like that game so much. I also spent some time in an appointment out in the mountains where there is no cell reception. This causes your phone to constantly search for service and torches the battery. My old Blackberry did the same thing. So when 5:53 PM came, I got a low battery warning. So today, the phone made it from 7:00 AM to 5:53 PM without a charge and everything but Wi-Fi turned on. My advice... Buy a car charger! I discovered problems later in the day. I couldn't sign into my voicemail from my cell phone. I called tech support. Again, kudos to the Verizon guy for being so helpful. He confirmed that this was a problem with the phone and that Samsung is working on a maintenance update. I also found out that the Samsung Media Hub only works in 4G (not sure I really care - I have no intentions of buying any music, etc from Samsung). One other odd problem I had was with the Music Player. It keeps turning itself on periodically throughout the day. Samsung has a widget called Program Monitor that I REALLY like. It takes the place of an app killer app like you need on the Thunderbolt. It automatically tells you if any programs are running in the background and gives you the ability to easily turn them off, either one at a time or all at once. Doing this extends battery life. While talking to tech support, I shared the Music Player thing. He said he would include it with the info Verizon sends to Samsung. Getting back to my voicemail problem, I remembered all the app installing and uninstalling I did earlier in the day. The tech guy said it wouldn't hurt to restart the phone and try dialing voicemail again. This fixed the problem. Lesson learned - after installing or uninstalling apps or software updates, restart the phone! Spent the balance of the evening playing Angry Birds and messing with the phone. These new phones really are pocket computers. You notice this as you move from one app or function to the next. This phone seems to handle everything you throw at it very smoothly and with very few hiccups.
Day 4-Phone off the charger at 7:00 AM. Everything seems to work fine. The music player turned on 4 times during the day - don't know why or if it even matters. I turned it off using the Program Monitor widget. There was not as much time spent on the phone today. I did take a couple of test shots with the camera. It seems to do a really good job for a cell phone camera. Shut down at 9:00 PM with 50% power left on the battery. Everything was turned on except Wi-Fi.
Day 6-Saturday-Hardly used the phone today. Turned on at about 8:00AM. At 9:24PM, I still have 74% battery life left with everything turned on except Wi-Fi. Samsung has cured the 4G battery problem!!
***Update Wednesday 5/25***Day 10-This phone does have a few bugs beyond those already mentioned. The phone stopped making phone calls last Sunday. I got this loud screeching/static sort of sound right in the middle of a conversation. I ended the call and tried to redial. At that point, I could not make or receive calls without hearing that screeching sound. I called Verizon for the third time since purchasing this phone. They were good to talk to, but had no suggestions other than to restart the phone. This DID fix the problem. I have not had any more problems of any kind with the phone since last Sunday. My guess is this phone could use a maintenance software update from Samsung to improve stability. Verizon could still be having some 4G problems too. These bugs aren't that big a deal. Every problem I've experienced has been fixed by turning the phone off and then on again. It is something for you to be aware of though. I still like the phone!***End of Update***
***Update Sunday 6/5***Day 21-This phone has two bugs that I am aware of. The first - The Mobile Hotspot feature has stopped working. According to Verizon tech support, it's a Samsung problem. Verizon and/or Samsung are working on an update. Until that update is released, at least some of the Droid Charge phones won't have the ability to use the mobile hotspot feature. 4G and everything else seems to work just fine. The second - I'm having a very occasional problem using my Plantronics Voyager Pro+ headset with this phone. It seems the first call made with my bluetooth headset after powering on the phone has a problem where I can hear, but the person I'm talking to can't hear me. Verizon tech support wants me to go to a store and demonstrate the problem for one of the techs. I'll update this again after this has been completed. It would be interesting to know if anyone else is having this bluetooth problem. Verizon suggested that the bluetooth problem could be something that would allow for a replacement phone. The last item is minor. The power button is finicky, but only when trying to turn the phone on. I turn off the phone at night. The next morning, it requires just the right (firm) touch to turn the phone back on. All other functions supported by this button work fine. These are the first real problems I've had with this phone. While there is no excuse for the problems, this phone has far fewer bugs than phones like the Thunderbolt. I dropped my rating from 5 to 4 stars until they fix the problem. I'm still happy with "the rest" of this phone and have my fingers crossed for a quick fix/update to the hotspot feature.***End of Update***
***Update Saturday 6/11***Day 27-I just installed the maintenance update Verizon/Samsung prommissed us. It fixed a number of things - mobile hotspot works now, 4G reception is improved (I consistently have one extra bar of reception sitting here in my living room), battery life improved, the screeching noise I previously mention fixed, mild performance increase and a number of other improvements. There still seems to be an occasional issue with my bluetooth headset. This could be the phone or the headset. I just can't say right now. I'll update this review when I have more info.***End of Update***
***Final Update 6/16***Day 32-The last update seemed to take a day or so and a few restarts before it really took effect. It appears my bluetooth headset problem is the headset's fault. Plantronics replaced it for me under warranty. The predictive text seems to work better with the new update. Previously, it made you work a little too hard to choose the right word. The handoff between 4G, 3G & 1x works pretty well most of the time. Occasionally it will struggle with the switch back & forth.***End of Update***
***This is the "I hope this is my final update" update 7/1***Day 47-Some final details to help you with the phone and get started with the android operating system. I've played with a number of apps and decided to keep the included email, sms and contacts. They do everything I need them to do and seem to use fewer resources than some others I tried. Some business users may want to consider a replacement email program. I did not feel the need. I installed the Dolphin HD Browser for surfing the web. It seems faster than the stock browser. I downloaded a ringtone app from the android market that allowed me to assign a silent ringtone to a contact, thus solving my earlier complaint from Day 1 above. I did install a new home screen launcher - Go Launcher. It allows for more customization and speeds up the phone just a bit. Instructions are online. If you install Go Launcher, you loose the included Program Monitor Widget, but get to keep the Task Manager app which does everything the widget did. Look for it in the app drawer. In addition to my Gmail email, I also switched from a POP3 work email account to an IMAP (push email) account through the included email app. The weather clock I settled on is Beautiful Widgets. It's MUCH better than the included version. I've installed a number of other apps that were for personal use. These mentioned affect how well the phone functions. I feel like I'm done with my customizations and really like how the phone turned out. And yes... 4G is really worth it!!***End of Update***
***Update 7/29 One Final Bug Remains***The bluetooth bug is a Samsung problem. I've been through two Plantronics Voyager Pro + Headsets and three Droid Charge phones. They all exhibit the same behavior. There is an occasional problem where callers can't hear you, but you can hear them. This problem continues until the phone disconnects itself from the headset. To get the phone & headset connected again, you have to delete the headset profile from the phone and go through the process to pair them again. I've also been told that Jawbone and Motorola headsets exhibit this same behavior. Through trial and error, I've figured out a workaround that works most (but not quite all) of the time. If you pair your bluetooth device while the phone is awake (screen turned on), you'll eliminate most of the bluetooth problems. Pairing takes a good 12 to 15 seconds. This is important because after about 5 seconds, my headset says, "phone one connected". Well, it's not fully connected yet. In my case, there is a final beep after about 12 to 15 seconds indicating the bluetooth device is properly paired to your phone. If you don't keep your phone awake while pairing or accidently walk out of range of your phone while wearing your bluetooth device, the problem will return unless you power off your bluetooth device and re-pair while the phone is awake. According to Verizon, there is another software update (likely the upgrade to the Gingerbread 2.3.4 operating system) coming at the end of the summer. They could not say if this bluetooth bug will be addressed in that update. ***Verizon has now said they ARE looking into bluetooth compatibility issues. So hopefully, another update will be coming soon.*** According to Samsung tech support, they ONLY claim that this phone will work properly with Samsung headsets. This seems to be a problem with Verizon's other 4G phones as well. So, I can't offer anything other than to say this is something to be aware of. It may be related to the how the phone tries to save battery life while in sleep mode (screen shut off). The bluetooth bug is my only reason for 4 stars instead of 5. One final disclosure I feel I should make... Since I finished setting up the phone and installing all the apps, I have noticed that battery life has dropped off a little. On heavy use days, the phone hits the charger on my 5:00 ride home. On normal use days, I usually get the 15% low battery warning around 10:00 PM. On those low to no use days, I typically shut down with anywhere from 40 to 65% battery life left. It is also important when discussing battery life that you know my screen was set to auto brightness.***End of Update***
***Update 10/10/11***The bluetooth bug has finally broken my phone. Everything works great except my phone will no longer hold a pairing with my bluetooth headset beyond turning it off at night. Verizon is willing to replace my phone for free with a new Charge or any of their other 4G phones. There is a big update coming in perhaps the next month that will likely fix my Charge. Given that I'm a real estate agent that spends a lot of time on bluetooth, I've decided to try the Motorola Bionic instead of a replacement Charge. I really do like the Charge. Verizon tech support has been very nice and very helpful. The price of the Charge has been greatly reduced making it a better deal. If you can live without bluetooth until the update comes out, I still like the Charge. If bluetooth is important to you, I recommend you look elsewhere for at least the next few weeks.
Moving forward... My recommendation is to wait 30 days before buying a new phone. The updates for the existing phones should be out by then. You can check Verizon's community forums for information about the updates. There are also rumors of three new 4G superphones hitting Verizon between 10/18 and say 11/10 - Motorola RAZR, Samsung Nexus and an HTC. This will do two things. First, it will reduce the price of the existing line of 4G phones. Second, it will give you more phones to choose from. Either way, I truly believe Verizon 4G is the way to go.
If you want some initial thoughts on the Bionic, see comment number 42 in the comments section below.***End of Update***
***Update 12/2/11***The operating system and bug fix update is being pushed out by Verizon today. It could take a week or so before everyone gets the update. My guess is this update will fix the bugs and provide some new features. If you are thinking about buying this phone, It could be a good lower cost 4G phone. I would check the Verizon Communtiy Forum and/or other Droid Charge Forums to see what others think about the update. I own the Motorola Bionic now and am waiting for my own update from Motorola/VZW. I put so much effort into this review, I just wanted to close the loop. Good luck!***End of Update***
Final negatives-The Price! I paid $270.00 for this phone after a $30 discount from Verizon. It should be cheaper! I plan to update the included Weatherbug Widget. According to the Weatherbug site, the widget gives what has happened during the day, but not what WILL happen. For example: The included Samsung Weatherbug widget says today is 61 now, and 58 was the coldest so far today, a partly cloudy animation(neat looking) and the time. What's missing is the predicted high temp for the day. Kinda silly leaving out THAT piece of info, especially if you check the weather at 7:00 AM. The included clock widget leaves something to be desired as well. I'll go back to the app store to find replacements I like. When I read people's complaints about the Samsung UI, I think they are referring to things like these widgets that just don't function like they should. It's easy enough to fix with a trip to the app store. The question for Verizon/Samsung is... With as much money as we have to pay for this phone, why do we have to fix such simple little things? Note to Samsung: You have a great phone. Please fix these annoyances.
The bottom line-This phone is incredible and so is 4G! I got 12.2 mb download and 4.6 mb upload speeds with the speedtest.net app from the Android Market!! There are a few quirks in the way the phone operates. This phone and Verizon's 4G network are still very new technologies. With these few exceptions, Samsung has done a great job creating a phone that is smooth to operate, surfs the internet incredibly fast, seems to be relatively bug free and has really good battery life - at least for a droid. I can also say that the reception of the Samsung Droid Charge is better than that of my old Blackberry. I had little or no problems with reception and/or call quality. The speakerphone works well too. If you compare this to Verizon's other 4G phones, this IS your best option! I can find NO reason why you should not purchase this phone. I know there will be the few that feel they have to wait for the dual core processor in the Motorola Bionic when it gets released in another few months. For most people, this phone will have ample power and all the features you could want. I will even go so far as to say this phone is better than the iPhone. I say this in part because the speed of this phone (4G) simply blows the iPhone away!
Practical suggestions: Buy a car charger or spare travel charger. You won't need it every day. You will need it sometimes though. I'm not sure I see the need for an extended battery - unless you are a really heavy user. I never tried turning 4G off. Turning this feature off should extend the battery life beyond those I've reported. Perhaps I'll give it a try during my next camping trip where I won't have an option to recharge the phone. If you like belt clips, the Verizon store has the best I've seen. (Amazon sells it now for half the price: Samsung Droid Charge Shell/Holster Combo W/ Kickstand) I really like the one I bought. Remember to restart the phone after adding or removing apps or updates. It does make a difference and will keep your phone running smoothly. I did find replacement apps/widgets that I really like in the Android Market to replace those that were included with the phone that I didn't like. Install the included Samsung Program Monitor widget. It works, is simple to use and could help extend your battery life.
I rely a lot on reviews here on Amazon when I make purchasing decisions. I hope this review helps you with your decisions. I'm very happy I bought this phone and would buy it again. Highly recommended!!
1. Build quality its nice and light feels good in the hands. I like the 4 physical buttons compared to capacitive touch buttons.
2. The super amoled + screen is the best on any phone out there..... No comparison
3. Using the phone I have no real issues with the Touchwiz interface. If coming from another phone you may not like it but its what you get used to. The phone is powered by a 1ghz hummingbird processor it works O.K. Sometimes the phone lags a bit. If anything that is my only complaint with the phone. Its not a deal breaker but when your pushing the limits of these processors for what you want the phone to do. You get the occasional hiccup. Of course this could be software related and it gets smoothed out in the future. Its really not that bad but something you notice once in a while.
4. NO notification LED's Really unforgivable Samsung. Would have been nice to look at the phone and see a blinking led to see if you have a VM, EM or PM. but nope. They do have a program out there that turns the screen into a LED since the screen uses such little power. (NOLED)
5. The biggest surprise. Unlike the Thunderbolt that I had that would constantly die in about 4 hours of use. I can get a day maybe a day and a half with out a charge. This is what a phone should be. You should not be afraid to use your phone for fear its going to die. With that being said keeping a charger around would not be a bad idea. After all you pretty much have a pocket computer in your pocket. Gone are the days of phones that just make phone calls and text messages and last for a week on a charge.
6. 4g LTE. What can I say it is seriously fast. If you use your phone on the 4g network and are forced to use the 3g network you will cry and find your self getting frustrated. The easiest way to compare this is the first time you used Cable internet, then had to go back home to your crappy dial up. That is what 4g to 3g is like. If you don't live in a 4g network area or will not use it for some time. You may want to look at the HTC incred 2. Its the Tbolts little brother pretty much. Same hardware - the lTE antenna.
7. In summary, great phone you can get it for 250.00 Here on amazon or 299.99 pretty much any other place. I think the price is a little to high for what your getting. For 80% of the users this phone will last you until the next contract is up. For that 20% of us, when the duel core phones start rolling out at the end of the year, and we still have a year left on the contract we might find our selves itching for more power, and paying the off contract price for those phones are not going to be pretty.